Resisting Persecution as One Body with Righteous Thoughts at Shenyang City No. 2 Prison
(Clearwisdom.net) I was illegally sentenced to four years of imprisonment at Shenyang City No. 2 Prison in 2002. In that brutal environment, fellow practitioners and I remembered our mission: We protested the persecution and clarified the facts.
1. Working Together to Protest the Persecution
Shenyang City No. 2 Prison has been notorious for its persecution and torture of prisoners. After the communist regime started the persecution of Falun Gong, they brutally tortured Falun Gong practitioners as well.
When these practitioners were first detained, because of fear, they followed the orders to work day and night. Even when they were exhausted, the guards forced them to work late into the evening. After a while, fellow practitioners realized that that was not right: we are Falun Gong practitioners, we did not commit any crime, we follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. They have no right to "reform" us. Practitioners encouraged one another and started refusing to do forced labor. At the beginning, the guards pulled practitioners from the cells and beat them. The practitioners still refused to do the work. The guards then forced the practitioners to stand, or locked them in solitary confinement and did not allow family to visit them. Because I was one of the practitioners who refused to work, my family was not allowed to visit me on three occasions. Two other practitioners were forced to stand for a month.
Fellow practitioners continued protesting the persecution. Our local coordinator often reminded everybody: "We should not cooperate with the evil prison demands." More and more practitioners started doing the same thing.
After breakfast on December 9, 2003, 13 practitioners were forced into a dark room and ordered to sit on tiny benches for refusing to work. The guards loudly broadcast the "prison policy" through a tape player. After entering the room, no practitioners sat down. A guard came in shortly, "If you want to talk, you can go to the office." One practitioner went to the office to clarify the facts. Several guards went up and beat him brutally. When this practitioner came back to tell the others the situation, another young practitioner went to the office to appeal. The guards beat him as well.
It was clear to everyone that it was no use going there again. The practitioners still refused to sit on the bench. Just then, a group of guards came in with handcuffs. They took away three young practitioners and put them in a solitary cell. The other practitioners were forced to sit on the tiny bench with their feet together, their hands holding their knees, and their backs straight. We were not allowed to talk or change position. If we did we were beaten. One morning, after breakfast, one practitioner was brutally beaten because he was several minutes late. His glasses fell off and his face was bleeding. Fellow practitioners stood up and shouted in unison, "Stop beating him!"
This was a shock to the evil present at the prison. We kept up this resistance for six days. Afterwards, although some practitioners went to work, the guards were afraid to assign us any work. Some other practitioners were able to completely refuse having to do the forced labor. The inmates said, "You practitioners are so good. They are afraid you'll form a group. You did not commit any crime. Why should you have to do the work?"
2. Upholding the Right to Practice the Exercises
In prison, there have been many opportunities for practitioners to uphold the right to practice the exercises. Up to that point, if we even sat on the bed to rest with our legs crossed, it set off the the guards. In this environment, we practitioners exchanged thoughts from the perspective of the Fa and made up our minds to break through this obstacle.
In the beginning, it was practitioner Mr. Zhang Huachen (an alias) who took the lead to start practicing the exercises. The guards normally beat practitioners who attempted to practice the exercises. They sent those practitioners to the Discipline Team or locked them in solitary cells. As groups of practitioners were being sent away, other practitioners continued to practice. Once, Mr. Zhang was meditating on the bed. The criminal inmates in the cell attempted to stop him, but he continued with the exercises. They then brought in a guard. Mr. Zhang continued as if he did not see them. The guard shouted, "Take him away!" A group of criminals took Mr. Zhang to the Discipline Team. On the way there, Mr. Zhang shouted, "Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is good!" The entire prison was shaken. The criminals were panicking, "Hurry up and get tape to cover his mouth!"
In the Discipline Team, Mr. Zhang still practiced the exercises. Nobody could stop him. Later, the evildoers found a 5- or 6-foot-long wooden stick. They put it horizontally through the two sleeves of Mr. Zhang's shirt, so his arms were stretched out horizontally. But his legs still stayed in the full lotus position. The evildoers then brought over two more sticks and put them in his pants so he couldn't cross his legs. It was winter and extremely cold. The guards not only turned off the heat, but also opened the window to let the cold wind blow into his cell. Mr. Zhang was locked up for two months. When he came out, his legs and hands were all swollen.
Faced with the determination of Falun Gong practitioners, the persecution was useless. In time we could practice the exercises openly.
3. Being Diligent, and Establishing a Fa-study Environment
In prison, practitioners' studying the Fa is a super sensitive issue. The persecutors did not allow us to study or read any Falun Gong materials.
With practitioners' continued efforts, in the second half of 2004, there had been big progress in resisting the persecution and upholding the right to practice the exercises. The Fa-study environment had gradually improved as well. We went from spreading Master's lectures secretly to being able to smuggle in some lectures. However, this "underground" way of Fa-study was far from keeping up with the rapid advancement of Fa-rectification. In other words, we needed to have a breakthrough in the Fa-study environment.
I was one of the practitioners who refused to work. One day, I sat on the bed looking at the sky outside, and then looked at the environment inside the prison. I had one thought: "I will study the Fa openly!" With that pure thought, I sat up straight and started studying the Fa. Right then, I felt that the sky was boundless and my space was so pure. As I was studying, the head guard came in. He was at first shocked, and then he rushed at me. Right then, a very bright light appeared, and a strong force pulled him back. He gave me an angry, puzzled look. After a while, he came up to me again. The same thing happened again. After several attempts, he decided to leave me alone.
Several days later, a guard led a group to break into the ward and pushed all practitioners and others out into the hall. Then they started searching the cells. When I returned to my room, I noticed that my Dafa book and notebook had been taken away. I thought, "What do I do? Do I stop the Fa-study?" Just as I was wondering what to do, I felt that I heard Master, "Don't you have more in your hands? Continue to study." I immediately felt a warm current throughout my body. I suddenly discovered another Dafa book and started to study again.
However, due to increased interference, many practitioners' Dafa books and the lectures were taken away. We suffered a great loss. Therefore, my way of openly studying the Fa was not supported or understood by fellow practitioners. I felt segregated. We usually secretly passed Master's lectures among us, but now nobody passed them to me anymore. They were afraid I would "give" them to the persecutors. I felt sad. After I calmed down, I started looking inward and realized I had developed a showoff mentality and the attachment to zealotry. I felt that I had been the first practitioner to break through the strict control at the prison to study the Fa openly. So I was proud and happy, although I never said anything. This was why I was taken advantage of by the evil forces and caused a loss. I found the root cause and felt regretful: "Without Master's strengthening, what could I do? This was a direct manifestation of the Fa-rectification. How could I use it to show off?"
After eliminating these attachments, I have become more steadfast and determined. Fellow practitioners no longer avoided me. Instead, they gave me encouragement and support. Most of the practitioners gradually turned to studying the Fa openly. This has been very encouraging to us all, and everyone's righteous thoughts have become stronger!
4. Sending Righteous Thoughts Together to Eliminate the Evil
Falun Gong practitioners have suffered vicious persecution in the Shenyang No. 2 Prison. Four of them in the same prison ward I was in died as a result of gross abuse and mistreatment.
Cultivation is a serious matter. During this huge tribulation, fellow practitioners have decided that we should not wait for help. We realized that there are distinct advantages to sending righteous thoughts in the prison. Practitioners outside of the prison are trying hard to rescue us. We should proactively cooperate with them to end this persecution as soon as possible. Therefore, everyone places emphasis on sending righteous thoughts and not missing any set times.
Practitioners got information that the prison would separate us. In other words, they would divide practitioners and send us to different prison wards. We realized that we should dissolve this evil plan immediately! We reached a consensus and decided to send righteous thoughts at the same time. As a result, the prison's plan was thwarted.
There has been a long period of "quiet" since then.
5. Clarifying the Truth with Compassion to Urgently Rescue Sentient Beings
The prisons are highly populated. Though most people here are hardened criminals, some of them might have good enlightenment quality; others are being persecuted for protecting their human rights. Because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is persecuting Dafa, many Dafa practitioners have appeared in prisons. With their righteous thoughts and compassion, practitioners have given hope to others in prison, especially those whom the CCP have severely persecuted. Once they learn the truth, it is like they have discovered a new land. Their acknowledgment of Dafa and the changes in their minds have a huge effect.
We started by speaking with people about the Fa and the persecution and helped them to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. All practitioners except the "reformed" ones participated in talking about Dafa and exposing the persecution to people. They did it wherever they were. As a result, more and more people learned the truth. One inmate had been given a long-term prison sentence for financial crimes. He had served half of the term and was very familiar with what was going on in the prison. He quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations after learning the truth from practitioners and now often helps practitioners to transport materials. He has correctly positioned himself for the future.
Another inmate is a murderer who was sentenced to death, with a two-year probation. He obtained the Fa and started doing the exercises every day after learning the truth from practitioners. The prison guards were afraid to restrain him because he was the kind of person who dared to do anything. The administration had no choice but to send him to another ward.
By the time I got out of prison in 2006, the number of people who had quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations in our ward had exceeded 150. This was all due to practitioners' efforts in prison. In another prison ward, which had only two practitioners, eight percent of the inmates had quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations by 2008.
6. Forming One Body to Oppose the Persecution
Falun Gong practitioners cooperate closely, forming one body to do the three things well. From the second half of 2004 to the end of 2005, we triumphed by doing the exercises, studying the Fa, and refusing to do forced labor. After that we began to speak with people about the facts and help them to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. The key was cooperation. As soon as an act of persecution took place, following the coordinator's arrangement, all practitioners defied the persecution, explained the facts, and sent righteous thoughts. Thus, under normal circumstances, the persecution frequently failed. The coordination started with one floor, then one building, and eventually reached all practitioners in the prison. Whenever the coordinator made arrangements, practitioners would cooperate unconditionally.
One time the coordinator learned that the cultivation state of practitioners in the special persecution division was dismal. The coordinator decided to ask everyone to think of ideas to help these people overcome their shortcomings. Only by cooperating can practitioners oppose the persecution and validate the Fa more effectively.
To help those practitioners improve quickly, besides promptly passing them Master's articles and lectures, other practitioners also used every opportunity to share experience with them. Practitioner Zhang Huachen heard that those practitioners had not made the breakthrough with Fa study and the exercises. He had an idea: have practitioners from other wards stand in front of the windows facing the building of that division and do the second exercise around midnight. The purpose was for those practitioners to see us and "step out" as soon as possible. A few days later, someone reported this to the prison leaders. The prison management launched an investigation. As a result, a practitioner in his 60s was beaten so severely that he could not get out of bed and needed assistance with eating and going to the restroom.
The reason practitioners in the prison could achieve a good cultivation environment while being persecuted was because the coordinator was steadfast in cultivation and very humble and honest. He was mature in handling things, despite his youth. Another reason was that everyone cooperated; no one insisted on his own opinion. Sometimes when practitioners had different understandings they communicated with the coordinator, thus not affecting the things that needed to be done. The energy field was very good; it was like a natural state.
In early December 2007, except for a few practitioners who were to be released soon, practitioners in the prison were all transferred to other prisons.
When I was released in 2006, fellow practitioners in the prison repeatedly asked me to send their greetings to Master when I got a chance. Today, on behalf of those who were persecuted in the No. 2 Prison, I sincerely send our greetings to our compassionate and great Master with this experience-sharing article!